Become a Youth Mentor to Help a Child Succeed
At the January 10 School Board of Directors meeting, Superintendent Robert Manahan, Ed.D, acknowledged January as National Mentoring Month in the Snoqualmie Valley School District, echoing efforts nationwide to promote the positive effects of youth mentoring.
In a special proclamation, Dr. Manahan highlighted the district’s partnership with the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network (SVCN), which sponsors an effective one-to-one mentoring program in several local schools called the Youth Success! Mentoring program. This program is designed to connect caring volunteer adult mentors with young people during the school day, and cultivate relationships that provide crucial support and guidance to help students grow and develop into our next generation of citizens and leaders.
According to SVCN, research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with skills and support to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in schools, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities.
In a recent national report called The Mentoring Effect, young people who were at-risk for not completing high school, but who had a mentor, were 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. The students with mentors were also:
- 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sport or extracurricular activities;
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities;
- And, more than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
The same report found that one in three youth will reach age 19 without a mentor.
“National Mentoring Month gives us the opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness about quality mentoring programs that can have powerful positive effects on a young person’s personal, academic and community situation,” said Manahan. “We applaud the efforts of our volunteers, schools and Snoqualmie Valley Community Network partners who are working together to connect caring adults with students who benefit greatly from a positive role model and consistent mentor relationship.”
In the Snoqualmie Valley School District, families have access to the Youth Success! Mentoring program. Sponsored by the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network, this is an in-school mentoring program that pairs caring community volunteers with students in the Snoqualmie Valley and Riverview school districts. Qualified mentors commit to working with the same student one-to-one, approximately one hour a week during the school year, and as a result, become a positive force in the lives of children in our community.
Anyone who has a desire to help a child – to show a child that they matter as an individual and are not alone in their day-to-day challenges – is encouraged to become a mentor.
At Opstad Elementary, volunteer Mike and student Mycael have been meeting weekly
for the past two years as part of the Youth Success! Mentor Program.
Contact Heather at email@example.com to learn more.